There's no conflict of interest, says the Postman.
Singapore Post stood by its decision to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as its Special Auditor despite a spate of market criticism that caused the Postman's share price to sink to record lows last week.
In a statement to the Singapore Exchange, SingPost reiterated that PwC will be able to act independently although it already acts as the company's incumbent external auditor.
SingPost rationalised its choice, saying that it had to select a Big Four accounting firm "given the seriousness of the issues" that had been raised against the Postman's corporate governance practices.
The statement noted that all of the other three major accounting firms are already involved with SingPost in ways that will make them unsuitable for the role of special auditor.
SingPost said that it selected PwC after ensuring that there is no conflict of interest despite its current role as the company's external auditor. The Postman also stressed that the audit team at PwC and the team performing the Special Audit for the Company are entirely separate, and the lead partner and all members of the team performing the Special Audit have had no prior or existing professional relationship with SingPost.
SingPost's corporate governance woes began when it became apparent that Keith Tay Ah Kee, a SingPost board member, was also the non-executive chairman and shareholder of (SCCL). SCCL facilitated SingPost's acquisition of stakes in Famous Holdings, FS Mackenzie and Famous Pacific Shipping (NZ).
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